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The Politics Of Fear

I was reminded today of life during the Cold War, specifically when I was in middle school in Germany.  The context was the tactics of fear that have been used so broadly by the Hedgemony.  People today are a bunch of gutless wimps, jumping at things that go bump in the night.  They cast aside the rights that people fought and died for to gain an illusion of security.

If you had looked in the trunk of our family’s car when we lived in Germany, you would be taken aback. In the trunk was a case of C rations, a metal box of .30 caliber carbine ammunition, a steel pot helmet, and an M-2 carbine. The M-2 was a variant of the M-1 with a fully automatic mode. My Dad was required to take these things with him everywhere.

My Dad worked at a remote missile launch site in the middle of a forest. In the event of a war, he would launch the nuclear-tipped Matador missiles, destroy the classified materials and head out to contact the military at selected assembly point for further orders.

Try living under those conditions and then tell me how scary terrorists are. No one even considered suspending habeas corpus or allowing the government to spy on them.

When I was stationed in Germany in the early 1970s I lived under the nuclear threat and terrorist bombings, but no one suggested gutting the Bill of Rights. People need to get a backbone and demand the return of their rights. We don’t need the government spying on us or special “free speech zones”. Just because we have a government filled with cowards doesn’t mean we have to join them.

18 comments

1 Steve Bates { 10.19.08 at 11:14 pm }

Hear, hear!

Where does it come from, Bryan, all the irrational fear? Objectively, the danger to the typical civilian American at home was far greater during W.W. II and again during the height of the Cold War (e.g., the Cuban missile crisis) than it has ever been during the GeeDubya administration, even right after 9/11/2001, and yet somehow Dub and company have succeeded in scaring the pants off a lot of people, who seem ready to roll over and give up some pretty fundamental rights for no gain in safety that I can perceive. What gives?

I was a civilian during the time of your greatest danger. I had the same rational fear of nuclear conflict that everyone had, tempered by the understanding that there was nothing I personally could do about the real threats. But never did I hear anyone… military or civilian, hawk or dove… suggest seriously that we open up all our personal phone calls and letters to government inspection, or imprison people on a hunch. Well, actually, there was that McCarthy fella, and Edgar Hoover… and honestly, that’s what the current crew reminds me of. As far as I’m concerned, when their term is over, Dub and crew can flee to South America (or wherever) and live out their lives joyously in fear of their own shadows.

(Personally, I prefer shooting the bull to launching the Matador…)

2 Kryten42 { 10.19.08 at 11:24 pm }

Excellent post Bryan. And I understand all too well.

There are far too many cowards these days. I really don’t understand why, honestly. McCain and his crew and his supporters are scaremongering like crazy. There’s going to be a some serious trouble because of him. Every time I visit C&L lately, they is some insane BS about what McCain or his cowardly moronic supporters are saying or doing. ON the plus side, at least they are easy to spot now. Sadly, you can’t just round them up and shoot them, which is all they deserve. *shrug*

I had to laugh at Chris Mathews and Walsh actually defending (kinda) Colin Powell and, by extension, Obama. LOL

Pat Buchanan says Colin Powell endorsed Obama because he’s black

Someone should have shot Buchanan long ago. There is such a thing as being *TOO* tolerant! LOL

And I see Malkin has deigned to crawl out of her cesspool. I knew the silence couldn’t last.

University officials said in a news release Friday evening that “the university’s threat assessment group monitored e-mails and other information UNL received regarding Ayers’ scheduled Nov. 15 visit and identified safety concerns which resulted in the university canceling the event.”

Of course, leading the torchlight brigade to block Ayers’ appearance was our old friend Michelle Malkin, who earlier this week descended even farther into self-parody by complaining that poor Joe the Self-Promoter’s Plumber’s ordinary rights as a citizen were being trampled upon by the “deranged” liberal bloggers and reporters who decided to look into his background.

So what does she have to say about the reasons for the Ayers cancellation?

“Safety concerns.”

Whose safety?

Gee, I wonder.

Waiting for someone to scream “RAAAAACIST” or something.

How about “fascist”? That oughta work. Not to mention fit.

For right-wing whiners, rights are for me, not for thee

Almost all the fear is being generated by the right, and it’s most of the right that need super-absorbent incontinence diapers. Maybe they should wear a blindfold and earplugs, then they wouldn’t hear or see themselves scaring each other into wetting their pants daily, and with totally incomprehensible and irrational justification.

As far as I am concerned, they are all either morons, base cowards, and narcissist and the fear they generate has nothing whatever to do with any rational causes. They just want everyone to believe they are all perfect and wonderful, instead of the retarded cowardly morons they truly are. 🙂 Anyone who listens and believes them, is one of them.

Americans have nobody to blame except themselves, and that’s a fact.

3 Bryan { 10.19.08 at 11:40 pm }

I just don’t understand it. Yes, McCarthy had his moment on the spotlight, but he was taken down by being exposed to public examination. Hoover was never questioned or seriously looked by anyone outside the FBI, which has since been corrected.

What really gets to me is when I hear from people in the “Greatest Generation”. After what they have survived, how can they be frightened by this garbage. They have put up with the Depression, WWII, Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam, et al. and yet they think this is a threat&#8253

I had a neighbor point blank ask me what I was going to do if terrorists landed in the bayou. I told him flat out that I would do what every else in town would do, cut them down with a 12 gauge. It’s not like US civilians don’t have more guns than just about any army in the world. If we waited for the sheriff department to show up they would be using automatic weapons, which is a damn bad idea in the hands of any of the deputies I know.

I tore into him, reminding him that locally we have a fighter wing, a special operations wing, the Ranger school, the explosive ordnance disposal school. a National Guard tank training area, and we are getting a Special Forces brigade. What in hell more could anyone want for security‽

I just don’t get it.

4 Bryan { 10.20.08 at 12:00 am }

Kryten, it really sucks when you hear older vets spouting this crap. These people know what real combat is all about, and you can’t make me believe that is is more dangerous to live in a barracks on Rhein-Main AB in Frankfurt that has to be periodically searched for bombs because of credible threats than in a tent near a flight line in a war zone that periodically takes mortar fire and actual assaults.

People who think flying on a commercial airliner is scary should try 1500 feet in a prop job with tracer heading your way. I must have missed the flights that hand out the flak jackets to sit on because the threat is from the ground.

Fifteen times as many people are killed every year in the US by drunk drivers as died on 9/11 but you still read the drunks their rights when you arrest them. No one has suggested throwing them in secret prisons for life.

This country has a serious perception problem when it comes to threats.

5 hipparchia { 10.20.08 at 12:54 am }

… we have a fighter wing, a special operations wing, the Ranger school, the explosive ordnance disposal school. a National Guard tank training area, and we are getting a Special Forces brigade.

sounds like a prime target for a nukular BOMB !!! if you ask me.

6 Jim Bales { 10.20.08 at 3:39 am }

Amen, Bryan.

The wingnuts cannot comprehend that some people are not driven by fear, or that some of us will sacrifice neither our freedom nor our self-determination for the false security of their big-daddy government.

Hell, many of us would reject their big-daddy government even if it were competent!

7 Kryten42 { 10.20.08 at 3:41 am }

True Bryan. 🙂 And I’ve been on Herc’s (and DC-3’s God help me!) and yes, I’ve sat on my flack jacket, or a steel plate if I found one! Scrap metal was booming biz in Cambodia. 🙂

As for McCain, he’s just a very old fool. It’s not him writing the script you know. 🙂 He’s simply an old puppet, and like Bushmoron, not a very good one. 🙂

Hipparchia, that’s pretty much true of many places around the World. 🙂 The general public here in Melbourne would be horrified (if they even believed) to learn that we were one on the first-strike target list of the old Soviet regime, thanks to the USA building one of three * secret* (that means, secret from the locals. The Russians knew about it before it was built. The USA actually have very few real secrets from their *enemies*. It’ s only the US citizens who are kept clueless,) Submarine navigation/communications base less than 100km from here, the secondary control center for the base is less than 20km from where I live. 🙂 I’m a lot more worried about getting hit by some fool with a car than getting nuked. 😉 LOL They give a drivers license to people who shouldn’t be allowed out of their house without an armed escort to protect the public from them! As Bryan correctly pointed out, Americans (as has everyone in any country in the World) have far more to fear from local morons than any international terrorist!

People are ignorant and stupid. So, what’s new? *shrug*

8 Bryan { 10.20.08 at 11:58 am }

And the area around NAS Pensacola isn’t, Hipparchia? I was stationed on paper at Offutt AFB, headquarters of the Strategic Air Command and the “Looking Glass” airborne command aircraft, so living in the center is a nuclear target is not exactly a new experience. It was my job at the time to watch the Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces, so I certainly knew what was possible and where it was likely to happen. If a silo opened in the Soviet Union I knew what ZIP codes wouldn’t be getting mail for a while. All part of life in the Cold War. It’s not as if my Dad didn’t design, test, and maintain the guided weapons headed in the other direction.

9 Bryan { 10.20.08 at 12:04 pm }

That is the most annoying part of this entire episode, Jim, driven to a very large extent by the craven whiners that have qualified as “media pundits” for far too long. The media is largely responsible for the climate of fear that has enveloped this country, hand-picking the “common man” responses to these intrusions on the basic rights of US citizens. Actions they once condemned when Nixon did them during the middle of the Cold War and the war in Southeast Asia have have been praised as “reasonable and necessary” when the Hedgemony does them. Whipped dogs, the whole pack of them.

10 Bryan { 10.20.08 at 12:29 pm }

Don’t be bad-mouthing DC-3s/C-47s, the number of landings equaled the number of take-offs for me, even if more of the plane took off than landed. They fly remarkably well on one engine and most of two wings – a bit breezy at times, but they stay in the air.

It’s amazing what a good aircraft sheet metal guy can do with a hammer, tin snips, and a pop rivet gun, and no one would miss those signs anyway. Leaving a car parked near the flight line was not a good idea. 😉

Most of the populations on both sides knew, but didn’t think about the actual consequences because the politicians and media weren’t constantly beating drums about the danger. People forget that Frankfurt was the reason that the Fulda Gap was watched so closely. There was no way of ignoring that any Soviet attack would feature a mechanized army pushing through the Gap, and Rhein-Main AB would be attacked before that started. Despite that, Frankfurt was considered a “plum posting”.

11 hipparchia { 10.20.08 at 6:57 pm }

😆

yep, i figure i won’t have to worry about a lingering painful death from radiation sickness.

i forget who it was we were scared of the last time my work required me to set foot on a military base, iran maybe. _yawn_

12 Bryan { 10.20.08 at 7:49 pm }

I look at it as keeping some funeral home from profiting from my death by charging for cremation. They can file an unfair competition charge with the WTO. 😈

13 Kryten42 { 10.20.08 at 8:32 pm }

LOL Bryan! 😉 I was teasing… I kinda figured what your response would be! LOL Heck… A C47 Dakota with a great flight crew (from PNG actually) got us out of deep *you-know-what* once! (Now that was scary!) LOL

IF you want a *real* thrill ride… Go to Papua New Guinea and fly with Air Niugini or one of the other airlines on Dash-7’s, -8’s or Twin Otters! The place is full of mountains and most of what are laughingly called *runways* are unsealed, the pilots almost have to VTOL in aircraft that aren’t designed for it! Though they did buy some Aussie Nomad STOL aircraft, when we used to make them. Another manufacturing base *outsourced* (ie. given away). I think PNG still fly Catalina’s (or at least one anyway). 🙂 I was told by a pilot there that the first Dash-7 was leased from Rocky Mountain Airways! LOL Appropriate. 😉

As a consolation prize for passengers that survive the trip, they give you a vacuum sealed bag of what IMHO is one of the BEST coffee’s evah!! Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. 🙂 So… it’s worth it. LOL

oops! OT! 😉

14 Kryten42 { 10.20.08 at 9:46 pm }

And just when one thinks it can’t get any dumber than it is…

From January 12, 2009, citizens from such infamous terrorist hotbeds as New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Western Europe and several other nations around the world ordinarily covered under the Visa Waiver Program will be required to submit an application for authorization via the Internet before they will be allowed to enter the United States.

Bad enough that even travelers in transit who are not even stopping in the US are treated like potential criminals and terrorists by airport security. Even worse that passenger’s laptops, mobile phones or any other data storage device can be confiscated indefinitely by federal agents without any suspicion of wrongdoing, the information copied and shared with other agencies or even ‘private entities’ for language translation, data decryption or any other reason. Business travelers in particular, rather than dark skinned young men from unfriendly Middle Eastern countries, seem to be the main targets of confiscation.

Those passengers who have to make trips to the States are increasingly turning to blogs advising on how to encrypt their hard drives, and shipping them back and forth via FedEx but not declaring the contents as a hard drive because that ‘may arouse suspicions’. If asked, lie and say it’s some cheap-sounding trinket. Or even, if you must travel with your computer, consider carrying a pink laptop with Hannah Montana stickers on it to make it less interesting to airport officials.

This, then, is what we are reducing ordinary, innocent travellers to – smuggling their personal belongings in and out of the States like forged papers to cross Gestapo guarded borders.

Not unsurprisingly, tourism in America has been on a steep decline, the nation’s international tourism balance of trade dropping more than 70 percent from 1995 to 2005, and showing no sign of recovery; quite the reverse.

Damn ‘Turrists’ Stay Home!

So… the only industry you have that can stimulate the local economies in the USA, tourism, is being destroyed by the US Government and it’s chickenshit citizens. Way to go! 🙂 Amazing, truly… Lemmings… that’s the word, lemmings! 🙂

15 Bryan { 10.20.08 at 9:46 pm }

I figured you were because you were in Cambodia and they were the aircraft of choice for anything more than a squad in SEA.

They use Dash-8s around here, and you see a few Otters with floats, but these are private aircraft. We don’t have any mountains, but we do have a lot of minimal air fields in farming areas, so the STOL of DHC types is appreciated.

Yes, JBM is the best commercially available coffee, but I once got what I considered the best from my Colombian connection, until the War on Drugs™ made it impossible to deal with just about anything from Colombia without major harassment. All I ever got for flying was flight pay and I had to wash my own underwear. 😉

16 Bryan { 10.20.08 at 10:12 pm }

Given a choice between the Republicans and hurricanes, it is truly hard to decide which has been more destructive to the northern Gulf Coast, or even which is more brainless.

17 hipparchia { 10.20.08 at 11:51 pm }

i’ll take any number of hurricanes over the republicans we’ve been lately cursed with.

18 Bryan { 10.21.08 at 11:05 am }

It has always amazed me that people, who aren’t concerned about staying in a trailer surrounded by shallow-rooted 30-foot pine trees in the face of a major hurricane, are worried about foreign terrorists.

Even with a map you have a hard time finding some the communities they live in, but they think some whacko living in a cave a half the world away has targeted them for destruction‽ The mind boggles.